Director Steven Soderbergh is having trouble finding his man for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. First star George Clooney bowed out over concerns that the stunts might aggravate his spinal injury. Then both Matt Damon and Johnny Depp passed. It looked as if he’d finally zeroed in on his lead as he offered the part to Bradley Cooper, but a deal never finalized there. Now Deadline reports that Soderbergh is eyeing Channing Tatum for the lead. It’s not incredibly out of left field, as Tatum recently starred in Soderbergh’s Magic Mike, based on Tatum’s days as a male stripper. An offer hasn’t been made yet, but if one does materialize I’d be surprised if Tatum passed.
Tatum isn’t a bad choice, as he’s proved himself to be an adequate actor in his own right. Judging by the 21 Jump Street trailer, he’s got some comedy chops as well. He’s currently in talks to play Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz in Bennett Miller’s drama Foxcatcher, and he’ll next be seen in Soderbergh’s Haywire which opens in January. Soderbergh plans to shoot The Man from U.N.C.L.E. next year before moving on to his Liberace biopic The Man Behind the Candelabra.